Navy adds 'PC radios'

The Navy has added "the PC of the radio world" to its telecom arsenal.

Motorola Inc. last week announced that the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare

Systems Command issued a delivery order for $48 million to build all digital,

software-reprogrammable radios under the Digital Modular Radio (DMR) program.

The new indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract has a potential

value of $368 million.

The DMR that Motorola developed for the Navy measures slightly more

than 18 square inches but provides more features than a room full of rack-mounted

radios, according to Bennett Beaudry, director of the Wireless Information

Transfer System product line at Motorola's Systems Solutions Group, Scottsdale,

Ariz.

Because Motorola designed the radio around software instead of hardware,

users can quickly reconfigure it to switch from the frequency and modulation

used by strike aircraft to satellite transmission frequencies, Beaudry said.

To make these changes, users just point a computer mouse to the new

frequency, click, and go on the air. Beaudry said this feature will enable

the DMR "to become the PC of the radio world," with software controlling

encryption as well as frequency selection.

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